I love people…until I don’t.
It’s just like how I love the internet…until I don’t.
Maybe it’s connected, because the internet is what’s making me really hate people right now. Let me explain:
My Twitter feed has been blowing up all weekend, with one attack after another. I sat there and watched as the stories unfolded, unsure of what to do. I read every article I could find. I watched every video and interview. I spent a lot of time crying, frozen in fear and shock. I talked to my mom about it. I meditated on it and how I should react.
I really hope I don’t have to tell you about what happened in McKinney. It was truly awful.
As a yogi, what do I do? As a writer, I know to not read reviews. And, as someone who spends too much time on Twitter, I know to not feed the trolls…but when does silence turn into enabling horrible behavior?
I was a politics student and I have very strong opinions about many controversial issues. I mostly like to keep those things to myself, because most people follow me for pretty yoga pictures and yogi reflections…but what good is yoga if we don’t try to take what we learn on the mat into our everyday lives? On the mat we learn patience and compassion…we open our practices with the intention to be a better person each and every day. So how can we do that and yet stay quiet when it really matters? When our voices are truly needed?
How can we justify standing on the side lines when our team (the world) needs us?
I did join in the discussion on Twitter and was immediately met with a comment that made me so angry, I honestly didn’t know what to do. My first thought was, “you can’t fix that kind of stupid” because it was very obvious that the person hadn’t read the article I shared (or any other, for the matter. It was a very ignorant comment). I read what the person said a few times and then went to their page to see what else they had to say about the events in question and I only found myself getting angrier…and more lost.
On one hand, if I say nothing, nothing gets done.
But, getting angry and responding from that negative place isn’t going to help anyone, either.
I am still very torn about how to address this issue of silence over action. There are so many variables and every situation is different.
All I know is that we have to always try. We must try to live with compassion. We must try to see things from both sides. We must always look for the facts and stand up for what is right. We must try to be better with every breath. We must always try and make every moment, every interaction matter—why would we be experiencing them if they didn’t?
I did decide to block the rude commenter after a while, because it became clear that we weren’t having a discussion. To have a discussion both parties have to be open to hearing from the other side and also, ya know, have facts to back up their claims.
I don’t hate that commenter, though I did feel hate towards the situation. But, what does hate get us? It only leads to more hate and more grief.
Fighting fire with fire means everyone gets burned, but throwing water onto the fire will put it out!
Standing there quietly only makes the fire bigger.
I’m not telling you that you have to make posters or send emails to editors, but I am asking that you be informed, that you look for facts, and that you live a life of compassion and conviction. I am asking that you make your life count and that you don’t take anything for granted.
We live in an age where we can affect the world with a single video. We can shock the world with a single Tweet. We can open peoples eye and force them to see the injustice.
It is our choice what we do when we see those social movements.
It is our choice how we react.
It is our choice.
It is our right.
It is our duty.
Stand up for your beliefs…and stand up taller for those who can’t.
Author: Stacy Porter
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: rosauraochoa at Flickr